Uninstalling Office cleanly

Sometimes Office gets in a muddle and needs re-installing. Simply uninstalling from Control Panel leaves behind folders and registry keys which you may need to purge in order to get a clean installation of office back onto your computer. Microsoft has a nifty tool for this a link to which follows –

Emails stuck in Outbox or Emails won’t send?

Sometimes when your computer has resumed from hibernation / sleep mode, or has just simply lost its connection to the internet you might find outgoing emails getting stuck in your outbox and failing to send.

There are 2 common fixes to this issue –
1. Check that Outlook is ‘Online’. To do this go to your send and receive ribbon in outlook. Look for the icon ‘Work Offline’ and make sure it is not highlighted. If Outlook is offline you will often see this status displayed at the bottom right hand corner of Outlook. If ‘Work Offline’ is highlighted simply press it again to go back Online! In older versions of office the work offline function can be found under the ‘File’ menu.

2. The second most common reason is that an email is simply stuck in the Outbox. You may need to cancel the current send/receive status. Next move the stuck emails into drafts. Restart Outlook, then open each draft and send one at a time.

3. Lastly check that your mailbox has free space. Delete some old emails by selecting them with SHIFT-select and then delete to permanently delete some emails and make some space! Why not check out eFiler as a way to stay on top of your mailbox on a daily basis!

Why won’t that program run? Is it your antivirus?

If there are two types of software that annoy you by hogging your computer’s CPU and slowing things to a standstill they are probably the sync tool for your cloud storage and your antivirus. These are both useful so we put up with their greed, but one very irritating thing about antivirus software is that it can prevent perfectly legitimate programs from running without even telling you.

So if you install an application and it doesn’t work as expected or if your antivirus is updated and strange things start happening try switching if off or adding affected applications to the whitelist (also called exceptions or exclusions) of applications the antivirus will allow to run.

How to archive email from Outlook

Email is commonly stored in an Outlook data file (file extension .pst or .ost) located on your computer within your user profile. These are displayed in Outlook as the Personal folders and subfolders. All of the emails contained within these Outlook folders are stored within the PST or OST file.

These files grow in size as emails arrive (each version of Outlook PST and OST file has a size limitation). The Outlook solution to this is to create further archive files using ‘Auto Archive’ which creates additional PST files located on your computer.

Limitations of relying on PST and OST files are –
They corrupt easily which can result in loss of data
As these files are located on your hard drive, if your hard drive fails or your computer is stolen your emails may be lost forever.
You cannot share emails with colleagues easily, unless of course you forward them, duplicating information.
If you go on holiday your archived emails are inaccessible to anyone in the office who may need them.
Most users who use Outlook auto-archive never find their emails again.

eFiler solves these problems –
Using eFiler you can file (archive) individual messages to different network folders.
You can pre-configure auto filing to ensure all incoming and outgoing messages are filed into the correct project folders.
Your colleagues can use eFiler search to find these emails quickly with minimal effort.
If you take your laptop out of the office you always have a copy of your email content even if the emails are filed in the office network.
Filing into regular folders as regular message files (.msg) results in lower mailbox sizes, less corruptions of PST files and happier IT departments.

Best practice for email archiving –
Can you archive projects complete with email correspondence?
Avoid proprietary systems that will tie you in. Emails archived with eFiler can always be opened directly using Outlook or any .msg viewer without the need to have eFiler installed.

How to repair Outlook data files – PST and OST

It seems to be the case that for files which hold a local copy of their Mailbox are prone to corruption.

The causes are unclear, but bad internet connection, errors caused by Microsoft automatic updates being installed on machines with Outlook still running at the time of shutdown and general syncing errors between the remote mail server and the client are all suspects. This seems to be a particular problem for Outlook 2013.

If your Outlook does start to behave strangely, with trouble selecting emails and obviously wrong information being displayed, here’s a Microsoft article which show how to fix it:

How to repair Outlook data files – PST and OST

Three ways to archive emails in bulk using eFiler

As part of its rich array of features, eFiler has three powerful tools for the bulk archiving of emails – one obvious and two not so obvious.

1) The obvious one is the bulk folder export function which will export an Outlook folder and its contents to a selected file system folder while recreating the folder structure in the destination.

This works extremely well, but you might want a little more subtlety and flexibility.

2) Use eRules and Outlook Rules together. Imagine that you have just installed eFiler and the first thing you want to do is use it to file everything in your Inbox or Sent Items folders, but that you want to file as you mean to carry on rather than using the bulk export to archive everything and eRules or selective filing to file emails from then on.

Here’s what to do:

Group your emails as you intend to file them and make an eRule for each group. Then go to Outlook Rules->Manage Rules and Alerts and click “Run Rules now”, select all of your eRules and set them running.

All of your emails will be filed into their designated folders while you can go off and make a cup of tea.

3) Just file EVERYTHING automatically. The third option is for filing a copy of everything filed or everything received by each user. This is the hidden “Autosave” feature accessible from the Admin Settings menu – log into Admin Settings by holding Ctrl+Shift+Alt while clicking the Settings button, enter your Admin password and you will see the option to enable the Autosave feature for a designated destination folder. This is very handy if you want a belt-and-braces copy of important emails (why not file into a Dropbox, Sharefile or Google Drive folder for cheap and effective offsite backup?) or if some staff are so important they don’t feel the need to file their emails.

Sleeping sickness

We had a customer who reported an intermittent problem on one machine and the symptoms had us scratching our heads for a while until we realised what was going on – it looked like the computer was losing its connection to the Exchange Server.

To cut a long story short, if you regularly put your computer to sleep rather than turn it off then always shut Outlook before doing so and use an OST (Cached Exchange Mode) if your IT will let you.

Using Outlook Rules to make eRules even more powerful

We had an interesting enquiry from a customer who wanted to use eRules to file incoming emails to one location for each email address.

At first sight you would think this would be trivial – make two eRules, one for each location, and each set to file to that location any incoming email sent to aaaa@domain.com or bbbb@domain.com as appropriate.

However, the customer was using auto-forwarding using Exchange 2010 delivery options such that all email to aaaa@domain.com arrived as normal, and all email to bbbb@domain.com was being forwarded.

The result? The eRules couldn’t differentiate between the two email addresses as the headers of all emails contained recipient aaaa@domain.com, so the first eRule to see an incoming email filed it.

The solution? To edit each eRule using Outlook Rules Wizard to check for specific words (“bbbb” or “aaaa”) in the email address of the recipient.

You could use this method to tweak any eRule using any of the options available in Outlook Rules to make eRules even more powerful as a way of using the flexibility of Outlook Rules with the ability of eRules to file into network folders.

Disabled Outlook plugin remains disabled

We have come to learn that re-enabling a disabled Microsoft Outlook plugin isnt always as easy as it might seem. Sometimes as fast as you tick the box to re-enable the plugin and exit the menu it gets instantly disabled by Outlook once again. In most cases there are 2 simple reasons for this –
1. The plugin does not work with Office Click to run versions. If you find yourself in this scenario then please follow our instructions to re-install Outlook as a local version.
2. You have more than 1 disabled plugin and one of the other disabled plugins is sharing a common dll file (most commonly mscoree.dll). Re-enable the plugins and you should be back in business. If there are plugins you no longer require then uninstall them to prevent this from happening in future.